Professor J.J. Anjaria presents a lucid overview of the role of the State in Hindu thought and its connection to the modern State. The starting point is Dharma, which in Hinduism furnishes the elegant conceptual framework to understand the universe - and thereby also the nature of political obligation and the purpose of human activity. In particular, Hindu thought sees the State and its rulers as subservient to Dharma.Prof. Anjaria argues that in modern times State regulation of men and institutions based on birth, power, wealth, or gender will block the fulfillment of the individual's true aspirations and the development of a harmonious society. He calls for a renewed concept of Dharma, which would allow the State, in a true democracy, to fulfill its crucial role of supporting individual human endeavor. This requires moving away from the old view of Dharma, which over the centuries came to be implemented as a rigid, static set of rules that sought to preserve a status quo.This work offers fresh insight into ancient Hindu political theory and a new perspective on Prof. Anjaria's scholarship.
A renowned economist, Prof. J.J. Anjaria (1908-70) co-authored the classic text on Indian agricultural economics, The Indian Rural Problem. He was educated at Bombay University, India and the London School of Economics, UK. After teaching at Poona and Bombay Universities, he joined the Reserve Bank of India, and was a staff member of the International Monetary Fund soon after its founding. Work on India's first Five Year Plan brought him to the Planning Commission in 1950. Subsequently, he served as Chief Economic Advisor in the Ministry of Finance and as Executive Director for India at the International Monetary Fund. He returned to the Reserve Bank of India as Deputy Governor in 1967. He was awarded Padma Shri in 1957 and elected Hon. Fellow of the London School of Economics in 1968.